Artist Residency by Secession and Hotel Beethoven Vienna

From mid-February to end of March 2021, the two artists Pierre-Olivier Arnaud and Laleh Kaezmi Veisari have been guests in Vienna at the invitation of the Secession and the Hotel Beethoven Vienna. As part of an artist residency, the two have been living and working in the city for six weeks. New works on display, transformation and distance were created in their studios.

In cooperation with the Association of Visual Artists Vienna Secession, Hotel Beethoven Wien underwrote two artist residencies. The joint initiative was intended to promote artists who would like to undertake research or work on their art during a six-week stay in Vienna in early 2021. The artist residencies were open to artists from Austria and abroad and not restricted to a particular genre. Artists working in the media of painting, sculpture, or photography, in performance art or new media were encouraged to apply.

The jury was composed of Herwig Kempinger, president of the Secession, Ute Müller, Florian Pumhösl, and Barbara Ludwig, patron of the arts and owner of Hotel Beethoven.


Pierre-Olivier Arnaud
Since the early 2000s, Pierre-Olivier Arnaud’s photographic work has questioned the nature of pictures, their modes of appearance and circulation. This approach is part of the tradition of re-photographic practices; thus the images Arnaud produces are always second-hand pictures, already seen and already used. Whether they are taken from magazines, or made by the artist himself during his urban walks – an important part of his practice – they are emptied of any concept of originality. All these pictures could be taken as fragmentary clues of a visible world struck by its own repetition, leading to the irremediable loss of the signified.
The subject of the photograph is radically evacuated, as well as any spectacular effect, which operates a “desublimation,” as the artist says. But the impoverishment of the image mechanically reprinted also allows us to test its capacity to still retain affects and worn signifiers. This way, the diaphanous glow of these extinguished fireworks and the sensuality of these shades of grey end up reaching us.
The status of the work (unique or multiple) deals with this ambivalence as well as its very materiality (between presence and disappearance). Finally, a double movement, clearly political, is taking place when the artist scatters pictures from magazines: these returning images, emerging from the rubble of modernism and the nimbus of late capitalism, are in turn reappropriated by those who take them away.

Pierre-Olivier Arnaud was born in 1972 and lives and works in Lyon (FR).


Laleh Kazemi Veisari
Swedish artist Laleh Kazemi Veisari’s interdisciplinary practice embraces drawing, painting, sculpture and writing. She engages in collaborative processes, researching the social and environmental imaginary. Using abstraction, scale and distance as tools, she creates installations that fall within this frame of analysis and reflection.
After graduating with an MFA in Fine Arts from Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, she was awarded the 2019 studio- and working grant from the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm. Her works are represented in public art collections in Sweden.

Laleh Kazemi Veisari was born in 1983 and lives and works in Stockholm (SE).

Photos: © Kreativräume Wien